House Impeachment Managers to File Appeal to State Supreme Court

LegalImage by Mike Braun

PENNSYLVANIA —  Impeachment Managers State Reps Craig Williams (R-Delaware/Chester) and Tim Bonner (Mercer/Butler) announced they are filing an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court from the Commonwealth Court’s Dec. 30 decision.

“We will pursue the impeachment trial for Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner for misbehavior in public office, as outlined in the Articles of Impeachment passed by the Pennsylvania House in November 2022,” Williams said.  “There are specific instances of misuse of power which constitutes misbehavior in office, which were not addressed by the Commonwealth Court. Further, the evenly divided court opinion left unanswered whether certain articles of impeachment were upheld within the constitutional purview of the Pennsylvania Senate.”

After the Senate set an impeachment trial date of Jan. 18, 2023, Krasner raised three objections to the impeachment proceedings with the Commonwealth Court.  The court only approved one. That objection was that the seven articles of impeachment did not describe conduct that constitutes misbehavior in office, which is the standard for impeachment under Article VI, Section 6 of the Constitution.

“Our position is that the House of Representatives and the State Senate have the sole authority according to the Constitution to determine what constitutes misbehavior in office,” Bonner said. “We also believe the court ruled without hearing all of the evidence that proves Krasner’s conduct was performed with improper or corrupt intent, which the Senate is constitutionally required to consider as part of the impeachment proceedings.”

In addition, three articles of impeachment set out specific cases in which Krasner performed discretionary duties with improper or corrupt motives, which defines the impeachable offense of misbehavior in office, to abuse his official power to the detriment of the legal rights of others.

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The Commonwealth Court did not address that improper conduct, but instead concluded those articles of impeachment may not be constitutionally considered because the articles allege violations of Pennsylvania Supreme Court ethics rules.  Impeachment Chairman Williams and Impeachment Manager Bonner maintain they may prove the underlying misconduct itself constitutes misbehavior in office without relying on ethics rules as a basis.

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